By: Shannon Ralph
It’s been snowing for two weeks straight, your car is buried (likely until May), your hair is a gigantic ball of static atop your head, your skin closely resembles the Australian freshwater crocodile despite lathering your entire body surface in lotion ten times a day, and you can’t seem to find a replacement for the gloves your daughter lost (for the third time) because Target is now selling flip-slops (in February…in Minnesota!). You thought winter couldn’t get any worse, and then you get the devastating news—school is closed again tomorrow.
After you pick yourself up off the floor and wipe your tears, you can’t help but wonder how in the world you are going to entertain your three adorably rambunctious children through YET ANOTHER long, torturous snow day.
Fear not! You can do this!
Below are 15 sure-fire activities to keep the boredom at bay until your prayers are answered and school reopens.
- Bake. What better way to warm your heart (and your house) than baking with your children. How about giving allrecipes.com’s three-ingredient peanut butter cookies a try? All you need is 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg. Mix together, shape into balls, place on a cookie sheet, and bake for six to eight minutes at 350 degrees. Delish!
- Play a board game. Think about old-fashioned family entertainment and pull out the board games. My son just bought the game The Settlers of Catan. It’s a great game for nerdy families like mine, and is enjoyable for both the children and adults. Even my eight year old twins quickly caught on and were able to play. We also love to play Monopoly, Life, and Sorry!
- Write letters to grandparents. Who doesn’t love a personal, hand-written letter? Letter writing is a lost art long overdue for a robust revival. Canning vegetables has made a comeback. Urban chicken farming in chic. Old clothes are new again. It’s only a matter of time before hipsters everywhere are foregoing email for hand-written letters. Embrace your inner hipster—and give grandma and grandpa a thrill!
- Memorize a poem. I vividly recall memorizing Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” in its entirety in 6th grade. To this day, Walt Whitman brings back flashes of leg warmers and banana clips and hideous side ponytails. This website has a great list of age-appropriate poems for kids to learn and recite.
- Sumo Wrestle. Do you have kids who love to wrestle? How about sumo wrestling? Clear out a space in your living room and line the corners with pillows. Let your children borrow an old t-shirt of yours, stuff it with pillows in the front and back, and let them wrestle one another. I dare you not to laugh as you referee the match!
- Watch a great musical. It’s time to introduce your children to the exquisite joys of songs other than Frozen’s “Let It Go.” Some of my personal favorites are Enchanted, Annie, and The Sound of Music. Don’t forget to pop your blankets in the dryer for 10 minutes to get them all warm and cozy before putting on the movie!
- Have a picnic inside. Spread a blanket in the living room floor, load a picnic basket full of finger foods, and dream of sunshine and freshly mowed grass.
- Build marshmallow palaces. All you need is dry spaghetti noodles and mini marshmallows to build anything your child can imagine! Experiment with the strength of different shapes and configurations. See who can build the tallest tower or the longest bridge. The possibilities are endless!
- Have an afternoon tea party. Gather up everyone’s stuffed animals, have the children help you make cute little finger sandwiches, pull out those peanut butter cookies you made, decorate homemade placemats, and have a good old-fashioned tea party! Feel free to opt for cocoa (or wine for the adults?) if your kids aren’t into tea.
- Mix up a batch of delicious snow cream! Put 4 cups of clean snow (clean is of utmost important here!) in a large bowl. Blend together 1/2 cup half & half or whole milk, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Our over the snow and mix until it looks like ice cream. Top with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, whipped cream, or any other treats your kids enjoy!
- Create outdoor works of art. Fill spray bottles with water and food coloring and let the kids loose in the yard to practice their graffiti skills in the snow.
- Have a dance party in your living room. There are few things kids enjoy more than an impromptu dance party. And there is no better way for bored, wiggly children to expel some of that destructive energy than getting their groove on. Let your kids take turns being DJ and picking out the songs.
- Have your kids put on a play. Give them a prompt for the story (fairytale, action heroes, zombie apocalypse), have them write a script, pick out costumes and props, and perform the show. Record their final product for posterity. Don’t forget the popcorn!
- Stage a fashion shoot. Play dress up with old Halloween costumes, mom’s heels, dad’s ties, dad’s heels, mom’s ties, make-up, and anything else you think find. Crank up the dance music and have your kids strike a pose while you take photos.
- Plan a progressive party. No, not that kind of progressive party. Have each of your children plan an activity in a different room of the house. It can be coloring, a board game, an art project, a Wii game, building with Legos, whatever. Rotate around to the various party stations, allowing each child to lead the activity they planned. They may just surprise you with their creativity!
Photo Credit: Chris Sampson